From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Plato's The Republic presents a critical view of democracy through the narration of Socrates: "Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike." In his work, Plato lists 5 forms of government from best to worst. Assuming that the Republic was intended to be a serious critique of the political thought in Athens, Plato argues that only Callipolis, an aristocracy led by the unwilling philosopher kings (the wisest men), is a just form of government. The contrast between Plato's theory of philosopher-kings, arresting change, and Aristotle's embrace of change, is the historical tension espoused by Karl Popper in his WWII treatise, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1943)." --Sholem Stein
On the theory of forms:
[Socrates:]"Since the beautiful is opposite of the ugly, they are two."
The Republic (Greek: Politeía) is a Socratic dialogue by Plato, written approximately 360 BC. It is one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory, and perhaps Plato's best known work.
In it, Socrates along with various Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether or not the just man is happier than the unjust man by considering a series of different cities coming into existence "in speech", culminating in a city (Kallipolis) ruled by philosopher-kings; and by examining the nature of existing regimes. The participants also discuss the theory of forms, the immortality of the soul, and the roles of the philosopher and of poetry in society.
On art and censorhip
A number of provisions aim to avoid making the people weak: the substitution of a universal educational system for men and women instead of debilitating music, poetry and theatre—a startling departure from Greek society. These provisions apply to all classes, and the restrictions placed on the philosopher-kings chosen from the warrior class and the warriors are much more severe than those placed on the producers, because the rulers must be kept away from any source of corruption.
- Ring of Gyges
- Noble Lie
- Philosopher king
- Metaphor of the sun
- Analogy of the divided line
- Allegory of the Cave
- The Form of the Good
- Myth of Er
- Ship of state
- Plato's Republic in popular culture
- Mixed government
- Socrates's metaphor of the three beds
- (Philosophy is) the yelping hound howling at her lord (poetry)